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Lesley C

enRoute's Best New Restaurants

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Today the EnRoute restaurant winners were announced.

Here's the press release:

For Immediate Release

October 28th 2003

enRoute

is proud to announce the winners of

Canada's Best New Restaurants 2003

October 28th 2003 - After calling upon a nationwide roster of professional food editors to recommend restaurants across the country that opened between June 2002 and June 2003, enRoute contributing editor Amy Rosen (whose work on the 2002 Best New Restaurant Survey garnered her a nod at the prestigious James Beard Foundation Awards) and editor-in-chief Arjun Basu are proud to unveil the results of a cross-country journey to seek out the 10 best new tables in the country.

The winner of enRoute's

Canada's Best New Restaurant 2003 is

Bymark

Toronto, ON

Amy Rosen describes Bymark as "a triumph." Proprietor Mark McEwan's "attention to detail - from gathering the finest ingredients to the passionate wine list and extremely chic cocktails -

is exquisiteŠ It's a significant addition to the country's food scene."

Rounding out enRoute's picks for Canada's Best New Restaurants 2003:

2 Bis Moreno Vancouver, BC: this "stunning, minimalist" eatery is hailed as "a modern Italian masterpiece"

3 Les Chèvres Montreal, QC: a "raucous eight-course vegetarian tasting menu that includes three desserts"

4 Beckta Dining and Wine: Ottawa, ON: "a stellar wine program" and "ingredient-driven modern cuisine"

5 The Temple Victoria, BC: "a rarified blend of Zen monastery and hipster hang" with "worldly influences"

6 Celestin Toronto, ON: "a creamy décor and easygoing atmosphere" with food that's "universally delicious"

7 Eau Toronto, ON: featuring a "talented chef" who " hasn't dumbed down his menu for the hot pants set"

8 Muse Restaurant and Lounge Calgary, AB: "at once contemporary and whimsical - but the food is no joke"

9 Sobo Tofino, BC: "a purple catering truck where people come from afar" to enjoy "sophisticated takeout fare"

10 Cluny Montreal, QC: "a new-school cafeteriaŠ where a hot line, refectory tables and beautiful people all amicably coexist"

I was a judge for this last year and from what's written here it sounds like only Ms. Rosen and the editor of the mag chose the winner. I'm not wild about this rating system, but hey, it's their magazine.

Has anyone here dined at more than one of the top ten choices? If so, does this rating hold ground? I really question Cluny. The setting is great but the food isn't so hot.

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Lesley...

I'm a bit surprised that Xacutti in Toronto didn't make the grade...only reason I can think of is that their wine list is a bit bizarre. In their attempt to create something different and unusual, they've gone out of their way to go off the beaten track, perhaps to the point where they lost sight of the trail entirely. I think that a few "comfort zones" on the wine list would be most welcome to the majority of diners.

Food is exceptional - sort of fusion-ish (damn I hate that word!) - with light-handed Indian and even Thai influences. Inventive cocktails and spectacular desserts, too. The large, rectangular communal table is a great idea for single diners, especially those foodies who are "single and looking" (take a peek at the quirky handwritten notes hanging from the chandeliers illuminating the big table, or better yet, write your own). And did I mention that Chef/Owner Brad Moore is a proud former Winnipegger? Then again, the world is loaded with those. All for the better, I'm thinking. *chuckling*

Thanks for your constant valuable input into this great site.

Oh...forgot to mention that there are plenty of other tables other than the big one, as well as a cute little lounge in the back corner of the resto.


Edited by winefellow (log)

's'about the wine...or the food, no - the wine...maybe the food...definitely the wine...but it has to be the food...oh, stop whining! Aarrghh!!!

Winefellow - Proprietor, Kenaston Wine Market. Winnipeg, Canada

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cluny ?what the.....its alright at best,gimme a break ...........there goes en routes credibility.......and i know the van in tofino,did i say gimme a break?i agree with the top part though.......

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Not that i am protecting anyone but there was more than two judges this year and some reporters from montreal were included. This rating means a lot to us right now. You all have to admit that beeing on that list is an honnor. Thanks anyways for congratulating . :unsure:

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it's funny because some of these choices make sense in an ecclectic way, if you want cluny there for the experience of being in a techno world industrial young people setting, great... but if you loook at the top choices... it's all about refined high end stuff... the list is simply not consistent from top to bottom. Cluny is a great spot but it's a sandwicherie with good chocolate mousse... nothing more... Maybe they have huge point factor for location ?

McEwan, this is the guy from North 44 ?

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To start congradulation Guru :biggrin:

Apart from the high end restos the others don't look too

good .

Mcmillen is right they put a truck as one of the best restos in Canada.It's a joke :laugh:

The U.S. must be laughing at us


Con il melone si mangia , beve e si lava la facia

My Nonno Vincenzo 1921-1994

I'm craving the perfct Gateau Foret Noire .

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guru, which local reporters were in on the judging this year? Why aren't they named?

I certainly don't mean to take away from your success. I just don't see Cluny above restaurants like Brunoise and Rosalie. I had some seriously mediocre food there this spring. What are they judging on then? Décor? Ambiance?

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It sure seems as if En Route (which is a big cut above most in flight magazines, IMO) did its damndest to cover the widest geographic area possible.


Edited by fresco (log)

Arthur Johnson, aka "fresco"

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Well, they certainly went to extraordinary lengths to make sure that as many Air Canada destinations as possible were honoured. :biggrin:


Arthur Johnson, aka "fresco"

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Lesley...

I'm a bit surprised that Xacutti in Toronto didn't make the grade...only reason I can think of is that their wine list is a bit bizarre.  In their attempt to create something different and unusual, they've gone out of their way to go off the beaten track, perhaps to the point where they lost sight of the trail entirely.  I think that a few "comfort zones" on the wine list would be most welcome to the majority of diners. 

Food is exceptional - sort of fusion-ish (damn I hate that word!) - with light-handed Indian and even Thai influences.  Inventive cocktails and spectacular desserts, too.  The large, rectangular communal table is a great idea for single diners, especially those foodies who are "single and looking" (take a peek at the quirky handwritten notes hanging from the chandeliers illuminating the big table, or better yet, write your own).  And did I mention that Chef/Owner Brad Moore is a proud former Winnipegger?  Then again, the world is loaded with those.  All for the better, I'm thinking.  *chuckling*

Thanks for your constant valuable input into this great site.

Oh...forgot to mention that there are plenty of other tables other than the big one, as well as a cute little lounge in the back corner of the resto.

Just checked, Xacutti made the cut last year, for 'Best New Restaurants' in enRoute magazine.

-----------

Steve


Edited by SteveW (log)

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Lesley- Robert Beauchemin and Marie-Claude Lortie were representing Montreal. And, in the copy I received yesterday, they are named.


Patrice Demers

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The U.S. must be laughing at us

I'm not a US basher but I'll be damned if they can laugh at a truck take out spot when they have some serious social issues with fast food invasion and obesity... Don't want to get socio-political about food but i don't give a rat's ass about the U.S. when it comes time to food, other than the best of their offers. And don't give me examples about great restaurants in New York or other cities, that is not typical US. I've been spending enough time lining up buffet tables in five star hotels with bad burrito preparations...

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I for one, am happy for Les Chevres. Especially for Stellio, Patrice and their entire team.

I find it cheap to take shots at the judging. Les Chevres is well deserving of its rank and as montrealers we should support their accomplishment by not criticising the judges and/or the process.

Zach

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Jesus, I never said I wasn't for Les Chevres. I just gave them the highest rating of any new restaurant in my book. I have never doubted the talented crew at Les Chevres. Do me a favour Mr. Suhl and try to avoid putting words in my mouth. :angry:

My issue is with Cluny ( a funky place granted, but one of Canada's top ten new restos? Hardly). And yes, I do find the judging a bit off, especially as both Montreal judges work for the same newspaper. Get J-P Tastet in there... get Sarah Musgrave... mix it up for heaven's sake. :hmmm:

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If you doubt one choice you doubt the process.

I did not intend to put words in anybody's mouth-and certainly my post was not directed solely at you Lesley.

My point is that by questioning the judges for one choice belittles the accomplishment of others-

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Let's face it, this is nowhere near the optimal way of judging for restaurants. They are tons of factors that can make these choices. First of all, this is enroute magazine, a private zine with for rent journalists with a agenda (fly more people)...

Congrats to Les Chevres.

Dave, I'm suprised at your comment on Beauchemin, he raved Rosalie when he was at Voir.

From reading so many En route magazines, it's pretty clear that food is one part of the equation when they make their choices, even the press release describes that. It's basically similar to PAPER magazine making a top ten, there would be more to it than food. And I didn't want to underestimate the great work of Chevres by saying that.

The chocolate mousse at Cluny is not bad but it's basically like being in a Caban store. I guess it's one of those "living" type judging or some kind of UBER-restaurant listing hahahaha. Yes, UBER !

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By questioning the judges for one choice belittles the accomplishment of others

Oh BS. :hmmm:

We all know Les Chevres is a good restaurant. Many of us have gone on record here and elsewhere singing their praises. We're not belittling anyone's accomplishments.

But you know, if I were a young restaurateur who had opened a restaurant this year and had been overlooked for a place like Cluny, I'd be really really pissed.

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cook-em-all what people are trying to say is that other restos have been over-looked,how do you feel that Cluny and a Cantine in B.C got put on the list,instead of you guys,Rosalie,Cavalli & Bronte

We all know that Les Chevres deserves it.


Con il melone si mangia , beve e si lava la facia

My Nonno Vincenzo 1921-1994

I'm craving the perfct Gateau Foret Noire .

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Maybe i'm totally out in left field-I wonder how Stellio sees it?

As far as being pissed, like I mentioned before we are disappointed, but for the amount of accolades we've received to this point it is hard to be upset.

We are using it as a motivation to improve and raise the bar for our service and cuisine.

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Congratulations to Stelio and Patrice.

Amen! I remember lurking here waiting for Les Chevres to open. I'm delighted in your success, and promise myself a meal there next time I'm back in Montreal.


Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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From reading so many En route magazines, it's pretty clear that food is one part of the equation when they make their choices, even the press release describes that. It's basically similar to PAPER magazine making a top ten, there would be more to it than food. And I didn't want to underestimate the great work of Chevres by saying that.

But there isn't even service at Cluny and I don't recall a wine list. OK, food shouldn't be the only focus of a restaurant rating, but places with a lineup, cafeteria trays and wilted salads. Come on... :hmmm: I bet even the nice people at Cluny are surprised.

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